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How to Select Power Cords and Cord Sets

Hello, and welcome to the Interpower Webcast, How to Select a Power Cord or Cord Set. I'm Ralph Bright, the Vice President of Marketing here at Interpower and with me is Mike Boyle. He is the Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics. Welcome, Mike. Thank you, Ralph. So to begin with, could you please define a power cord and a cord set for us? Sure, Ralph. A power cord consists of cable with a country-specific plug or connector on one end and expose conductor wires on the other. A cord set consists of cable with a country-specific plug on one end and IEC 63-20 connector on the other end. So what choices should be considered when selecting a power cord or record set? The first choice is, determining the country of export. Where will the item be exported to? The second is the environment in which the cord set will be used, and that will help to determine the cable that is used. And the third is the rating of the cord, and then also if there's a connector. If it's a cord set, and they'll be a connector on the other end you have to determine which connector you're going to use also. Ok so, let's start off with identifying the correct plug. Again, that is country-specific. There are many different plug patterns throughout the world. And it's important that you select the correct pattern for the country that you are exporting to. Just because one plug looks like it might work for one country, you can't determine that there are many plugs that look very similar. The North American plug and the Japanese plug look almost identical, and you can't use the North American plug in Japan nor you can use the Japan in North America. The same holds true for the Argentina, Australian, and China plug. They look very similar, but they cannot be used in each other's country. Ok so so I went to, and I looked on the guide to where I plug in socket patterns. And I found the exact country-specific plug that I need and then next is to determine the rating. Could you explain further, why that is important? Sure, the amperage and voltage that is required for the piece of equipment or the cord is very important. Different countries have different amperages and voltages for example, North Americans typical amperage and voltage is 120 volts and 15 amps. Where as if you went to to Europe, the European Union, you're going to be using 230 volts at 16 amps or less. So what are the considerations when choosing the cable that's to be used? Again the country of Export is important in knowing where your way you're going to export to, and then selecting the cable for that area. There are really two types of cable: North American cable and International cable, and they are not interchangeable. If you are exporting to a European Union country, you have to use the International cable. And if you're using a product here in the States, you would use the North American cable. And you can't take just a North American plug, cord set and cut the plug off and put a continental European plug onto that cord and ship it to Germany. It still has the North American cable and that is not allowed in the European Union. Ok so I have the correct country-specific plug, and I have the correct cable. Now I need to determine whether I'm going to be using a power cord or a cord set. Could you start with the advantages and disadvantages of using a cord set? Yeah, the use of the cord set or power cord again is totally up to the manufacturer. The use of a cord set allows the manufacturer to be more flexible with their product. They can easily import it into multiple countries, and that is because they're going to have an IEC 63-20 inlet on the back of their equipment. Now their equipment is set up that it could take a range of different cord sets to be able to import into different countries. So that's the advantages of using a cord set. The advantages of using a power cord is that it will be hardwired to the equipment inside with a series of ring terminals or connections and either a strain relief or cable gland will be used to to get the cord into the product. Now a disadvantage of using a power cord is that it is hardwired to the product, and it can only be used in the country for which the plug is on the end of that cable. But a reason why you might want to use a power cord is if that there's limited space on the back panel of the piece of equipment, there might not be room for the inlet on the back of the equipment, so you have to use a power cord. So what should be considered when choosing the length of the cord? The length of the cord again is going to be up to the manufacturer, but there are requirements that have to be met. There are certain amperage ratings that might cause a product to be de-rated. So are there any application limits that need to be considered? Yes there are, Ralph. In in the United States and Canada, for a cord set 50 feet is the maximum length before the amperage rating will be de-rated. And in the international market, that's dependent upon the use of the cord and the environment and the specific country. So are there any other considerations that we need to be aware of when selecting a power cord or a cord set? Yes, there's there's at least one other and that has to do with a patient connected device or something we call a hospital grade corridor plug. That has to be taken into consideration, and there are different hospital grade requirements per country. And if there is a question with that our customer service reps at Interpower would be able to help you with that. What are the significance of the approvals for a power cord or cord set? The significance of the approvals are, you need to make sure that you get the appropriate approval documents when purchasing a power supply cord or cord set. So if I needed more information about specifying a power cord or a cord set, what would you recommend? I would recommend you contact our customer service representatives at Interpower Corporation. They will be able to help in selecting power cords and cords sets, and also our website has information that will help you select power cords and cord sets. Thanks, Mike. Thank you, Ralph. For more information on the selecting the correct power cord or cord set, you can visit our website at Or as Mike stated, you can call our customer service representatives at 1 (800) 662-2290. At Interpower we have no minimum orders. We carry over 4 million parts in stock, and we offer same-day shipments on in-stock products, and have a one-week U.S. manufacturing lead time on most non-stock products. Thank you for joining us today.